Norwich and Great Yarmouth to get new free schools but Thetford bid fails

Three new Norfolk free schools have been approved. Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Three new Norfolk free schools have been approved. Nick Ansell/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The government has approved applications for three new free schools in Norfolk.

Free schools are new, state-funded schools, set up independently of the local authority.

Two of the new free schools will be sponsored by the Inspiration Trust: the Trafalgar College, a new high school in Great Yarmouth, and the Charles Darwin Primary, in Norwich.

The other new school - the Wherry School in Norwich - will cater for pupils who, due to their autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), cannot access a mainstream school.

The school will be set up by a charitable trust, which includes Barry Payne, headteacher of Parkside Complex Needs School in Norwich.

The schools are expected to open in 2016.

The free school application by the Plymouth Brethen Christian Church to set up the East Anglian Primary Academy in Thetford was turned down.

Mick Castle, Labour county councillor for Great Yarmouth, and until last year Norfolk County Council cabinet member for education, said: 'As one of the two county councillors representing the town – myself covering the north and central area – I am very pleased to lend my support to the establishment of a new free school in the town.

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'I take the view that the Great Yarmouth High School and new Trafalgar College are both enormously important to the regeneration of the town and raising aspirations.

'Links with the emerging energy industries will be central to nurturing skilled local workers and professionals to take the well-paid new jobs coming into the town over the coming decade. The Trafalgar College will have a distinctive offer that will bring something new to what is currently on offer.'

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The two applications for free schools in Suffolk - NAS Sherrington School, and The Compass Free School - were not approved.

There were no applications for new free schools in Cambridgeshire.

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